Why Use a Professional Moderator? [As Published by the Qualitative Research Council of America]

January 11, 2012 − by Jeff Bierer − in Articles of Interest − No Comments

 A professional knows how to:

  • Establish rapport with respondents in an environment of respect
  • Probe beyond rationalizations to uncover genuine motivations
  • Interpret and build on what they hear
  • Maintain flexibility in guiding the discussion while keeping the objectives in mind
  • “Turn on a dime” – adapt their approach when new/unexpected issues and insights arise
  • Manage the energy level and personality dynamics of the discussion for maximum participation
  • Ask questions without biasing or leading respondents

A professional is prepared for challenging situations – and is able to:

  • Effectively handle “over-talkers” and non-talkers
  • Keep unexpected issues from sabotaging the discussion
  • Probe contradictions that don’t “ring true”
  • Handle sensitive topics with diplomacy
  • Recognize problem respondents and act appropriately

A professional brings:

  • Mastery of multiple techniques
  • Experience in diverse disciplines
  • Knowledge about relevant trends in other categories and industries

A professional does more than just moderate, they are involved throughout the research process. They:

  • Help clarify the objectives of the research
  • Recommend approaches for the research design, methodology
  • Maintain objectivity from the design stage through final analysis
  • Stay focused on clients’ business issues so the research findings are relevant and actionable
  • Build a positive working relationship with clients

A professional ensures high standards by:

  • Protecting client confidentiality
  • Protecting respondent confidentiality and anonymity
  • Staying committed to non-discriminatory recruiting of research participants
  • Being considerate and respectful of respondents

For the complete white paper published by the QRCA copy the following URL into your browser.          http://www.qrca.org/associations/6379/files/15_Why_Hire.pdf